THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After the consistent failure of attempts to fight against the issue of sea erosion at Valiyathura, the youth have come up with a decision to boycott the election by casting their vote as None of the Above or NOTA. "We have formed a group to fight against the sea erosion issue," said Joy David, a native of Valiyathura.
They have planned a protest, 'Save Valiyathura'. "Sea erosion is not a new phenomenon for Valiyathura. Every year at least ten houses vanish with the sea erosion. We don't want the government to rehabilitate us every time. We need a permanent solution for the issue," he said.More than 300 youth have been included in the 'Save Valiyathura' initiative.
"Within a span of four days we were able to gather 300 youth. If necessary, we will even go and talk to the 2, 5000 families in St Antony's Forane church regarding the issue to support the cause," Joy said.
"As a solution, we need the government to either put breakwaters or build a coastal wall before the rough sea season," said Clement Carmel, fisherman. "The Government spends crores of rupees on the development of coastal roads. But they should ensure to resolve basic issues first," he opined.
In a time span of five years, at least four lanes of houses have been wiped out from the Valiyathura coast. However, other than rehabilitation, the Government had taken no action to find a permanent solution for the same. "Instead of spending money for building a new settlement for the fishermen, the government should take immediate action to protect the shore from the erosion. Else Valiyathura will be wiped out from the map," said Sebastian S, fisherman.
"A people's representative must have the time to listen to people else why would we vote for them," questioned one of the fishermen, regarding the lack of response from the representatives.